Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Mubarak recognizes legitimacy of Settlements: Israel Can Build – in Exchange for Fatah Prisoners

( The Egyptian newspaper Al-Ghumuriya reports a new initiative proposed by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, based on the premise that allowing Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria would be an Arab “concession.”

The new Mubarak plan states as follows: Israel would be allowed to build 8,000 new housing units in Judea and Samaria, despite the freeze, and in exchange, would do the following: Release 500 Fatah terrorist prisoners from prison, recognize the pre-1967 borders as binding, remove unauthorized outposts and additional security checkpoints, and more.

Israel has issued a denial of the program.

The plan is to be presented to the U.S. government, and if it is approved by Washington, it will be the basis of a summit meeting in Egypt in March or April. The Egyptian newspaper says the plan is a product of recent visits by Egyptian General Omar Suleiman in Israel and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Egypt.

Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, says he has no plans to renew talks with Israel without concrete steps by Israel – of which the construction freeze is apparently not one. Netanyahu’s position as reported to him by Mubarak “is still vague,” Abu Mazen said.